The Utah Jazz have their focus currently on bringing back restricted free agent, Gordon Hayward. Currently, Hayward is meeting with the Charlotte Hornets. However, there are other areas that need to be expressed by the Jazz front office. One position in particular, could be the power forward position.
The Jazz made a trade last week that brought Steve Novak and a future second round draft pick to Utah in exchange for back up point guard, Diante Garrett. The addition of Novak gives the Jazz the “stretch four” that new head coach Quin Snyder is wanting on his roster. The offense is rumored to be fast paced, spread out, and shooters everywhere on the court. Novak fits perfectly into that system.
As great of a fit as Novak seems to be, he has never been put into a starter role on any team. With that being said, what free agents on the market could come in and fit with the Jazz, and more importantly, play alongside Derrick Favors?
Marvin is rumored to have mutual interest with the Jazz on a return to Utah. He has said that he loves the city, the front office, and the young core the Jazz have put together. Marvin might make the most sense to try and bring back, due to him being able to defend power forwards, “stretch fours”, most small forwards, and being able to spread the floor on offense.
Knowing the core group of the Jazz already, Marvin would more than likely feel comfortable in Utah. He would also provide a veteran leadership role to a starting unit that should be extremely young once again. The thing that Marvin would need to work on, however, is the three point shooting. In two seasons with the Jazz, Marvin has shot 34.2% from the outside. That number will need to improve to make the Jazz’s spread offense a real threat to opponents.
Marvin could be the best fit, if he can improve the outside shooting. That being said, he may be a little bit more expensive due to him gaining interest from around the league. Marvin met with the Miami Heat, who are now reportedly not interested anymore, and he has also received interest from the San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic. How much would the Jazz have to pay to bring back Marvin? That would be the key question when deciding whether or not to bring him back.
I may get a little flack over this name, but Adrien could be a good fit if the Jazz decide to look at a power forward to put down on the block next to Favors, instead of pulling him away from the basket.
Adrien, who was sent from the Charlotte Hornets to the Milwaukee Bucks at the trade deadline last season, improved statistically
with the Bucks. Before the trade, Adrien appeared in 77 games with the Hornets and averaged 3.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in 12.0 minutes per game. Those numbers really won’t jump out and grab anybody’s attention.
Once landing in Milwaukee, Adrien got minutes on the court. Adrien received 25.2 minutes per game with the Bucks, and made the most of it, averaging 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. During those games, Adrien also shot 51.5% from the field.
The thing about Adrien is, like Novak, he has never been given a starter role with any team. In 136 career games with four teams, Adrien has gotten the chance to start in a total of 17 games, 12 of those coming in Milwaukee. He shoots the ball well from the field, and next to Favors, could be a solid rebounding duo, but he is not going to spread the floor like the Jazz are talking about doing. That being said, Adrien could be a cheap contract the Jazz could pick up and be extremely productive given the minutes.
Like Novak, Lewis is getting a little older and could be closing in on the end of his career. However, unlike Novak, Lewis has the experience of being put into a starter role and would provide a veteran leadership there.
Last season with the Miami Heat, Lewis didn’t see the court much through the regular season. He did appear in 60 games during the regular season, but averaged only 16.2 minutes per game. Once the playoffs started, Lewis’ role changed and he seen a slight increase in minutes, mainly due to being inserted into the starting lineup.
Lewis might not have been such a productive piece during the regular season, but he played great during the NBA Finals, which the Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs in five games. In those games, Lewis averaged 8.6 points per game and shot 50.0% from the field, and a fantastic 45.5% from the three point line.
One big knock on Lewis is that he isn’t a “great” defender, he is good, but not great. He is good enough, however, to where it might not hurt the Jazz terribly. He could also come in at a cheaper contract. Last season with the Heat, Lewis made nearly $1.4 million. The Jazz could bring him in on a great deal for them, and insert him in the starting lineup, and still use different rotations to where he could work out well.
If the Jazz were to start Trey Burke, Dante Exum, Gordon Hayward, Rashard Lewis, and Derrick Favors, they could do many different things to where, due to Lewis’ age, Lewis might only still play 16-18 minutes per game and Hayward could slide over to the four position for some time, while the Jazz play Trey, Alec Burks, Dante, Hayward, and Favors for a bit.
Lewis might not be a big name that fans would want to see in Utah, but he is the type of guy that can spread the court like the Jazz front office and coaching staff is wanting. For the price, he could be a possibility, however, after coming from a contending team like the Heat, he more than likely wouldn’t have any interest in playing for a rebuilding team like the Jazz.
Another guy, like Adrien, who is more of a low post power forward instead of the “stretch four” type. If the Jazz decide they want to add a player who can play down low, Davis is another guy they should strongly consider.
Davis is an unrestricted free agent, after the Memphis Grizzlies decided not to send Davis a qualifying offer to make him a restricted
free agent. Davis has already been rumored to have interest from the Los Angeles Clippers, but the Jazz should consider looking at him as well.
In his time with the Toronto Raptors, Davis played pretty well. In 176 games in Toronto, starting minutes in 50 of those games, Davis averaged 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Davis was then traded from the Raptors to the Grizzlies during his third season in the league, and averaged 5.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. His role with the Grizzlies was not nearly as good as his role was with the Raptors, which is the reason for a decrease in stats.
Davis could be a good fit on the block next to Favors because he is a player that would help out in bringing in another rebounding presence. He has great size for a power forward, 6’10” 225 pounds, but would not be the “stretch four” type mold the Jazz are looking for.
The Jazz are in a Western Conference that is stacked, and not only that, young. Teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Los Angeles Clippers are going to be good for quite some time due to their great young talent. The Jazz could possibly get to that stage, but by adding a power forward that is older, might not ever get them to a stage where they can compete with those teams. Adding a guy like Davis, who could be a very good power forward given the minutes, the Jazz could put together a group of young guys that in the future, could compete.
Consider the future looking like this:
PG – Trey Burke, Raul Neto
SG – Dante Exum, Alec Burks
SF – Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood
If the Jazz could keep that lineup together, in three years, they could be able to compete in the west. They might not be good enough to get to deep in the playoffs, but adding a few pieces here and there could make them really good.
There are plenty of other guys that I would really like to see on the Jazz roster next to Favors, but most of them more than likely would not happen. I would really like to see Greg Monroe, Pau Gasol, or everybody’s dream of having LeBron James come in, but none of those players will wind up in Salt Lake City.
These players are more realistic options that could happen, but whoever the Jazz do bring in, most fans won’t be happy. The problem with bringing in players that are good and can come in and contribute right away, is that now you are bringing in somebody that will take away minutes from other guys like Evans or Gobert. On the other hand, if you bring in somebody that can’t help out, then fans are upset that the Jazz aren’t trying to compete.
Whoever Dennis Lindsey brings in, that player will be the right fit for the Utah Jazz moving forward. We just need to trust what he is doing.